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Northeast Star: New name, same craziness

Mar 2, 2015

This article was published on Northeast Star’s website on March 2, 2015

The annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Trenton Ave Arts Festival have officially combined and gained a title sponsor, earning themselves a renaming: Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival.

PFCU’s title sponsorship will total $15,000 per year for the next three years, according to NKCDC’s deputy director, Shanta Schacter.

This year, the event will take place on Saturday, May 16, from noon to 6 p.m. at Trenton and E. Susque-hanna avenues. Despite the changes, co-organizers New Kensington Community Development Corporation and East Kensington Neighbors Association promise to preserve the wacky spirit of the dual event, which involves a parade of human-powered vehicles that finishes in a mud pit, plus live performances and over 200 local arts vendors.

PFCU’s involvement aligns with its ongoing promise to support community endeavors, according to Karen Eavis, a communications specialist for PFCU.

“We work in the community, and many employees live and play in the community, and what better event that the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby to show our support?” Eavis said. PFCU’s local branch is located at 2136 E. Dauphin St.

Because PFCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union rather than a bank, the union’s profits are returned to the community in the form of partnerships such as this one.

According to Joanna Winchester, NKCDC’s economic development director, grant funding for events has been harder to come by in recent years. She called the PFCU sponsorship “key” in helping the event, which drew about 15,000 people last year, to continue to grow and improve.

Previously, the derby and arts festival have been funded by lower-scale sponsorships, individual dona-tions and grants. Local businesses will still have the opportunity to support the event this year, Winchester said.

For instance, Philadelphia Brewing Company is supporting a series of kinetic sculpture-making work-shops to be held throughout Philadelphia to help prepare the city’s creative class for the event.

Three will be held in the River Wards, at the Sculpture Gym in Fishtown, Frank’s Kitchens in Kensington, and Art Assembly in Port Richmond. The others will be held elsewhere–West Philly, South Philly and Old City–to attempt to draw a wider range of participants, Winchester said.

Workshop topics will include costume-making, welding and more. Workshops will be held every week-end from March 14 through April 18.

For more information about the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival or its affiliated workshops.You can reach Julie Zeglen at jzeglen@bsmphilly.com.

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